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  • Bicycle is a year old fairly cheap road bike with ~1000 miles.
  • Transmission is 2x7 speed-derailleur design, so 14 gears total.
  • Clicking noise somewhere near the drivetrain-ish area when pedaling uphill or somewhat aggressively.
  • Started happening recently after I changed my rear inner tube.
  • Clicking/popping is periodic but much more than one crank rotation.
  • At worst, there is a loud pop felt in the pedals and the chain seems to skip.
  • Worst in gear 4-5.
  • Not very noticeable in gear 1 or 7.
  • Not noticeable when freewheeling or pedaling backwards.
  • Still pops/clicks when pedaling standing instead of on the seat.
  • I took the rear wheel off and put it back on to make sure the axle is seated properly.

I'm now out of ideas for what it could be. I'd really appreciate ideas.

  • Unclear: Does your bike have a "derailleur" setup, with multiple cogs for the chain and mechanisms to shift the chain from one cog to the next, or does it have an "internally geared" rear hub, where all the shifting takes place inside the hub? If derailleur style, how many cogs on the "crank" shaft, and how many on the rear wheel? – Daniel R Hicks May 10 at 0:32
  • Yup, it has a derailleur. 7 in the back. 2 in the front. – shahzebasif May 10 at 2:52
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    At 1000 miles it's doubtful that anything's worn out, but likely the derailleurs need adjustment, due to "cable stretch". Also might be that the chain has some "frozen links", but this is unlikely if the bike has been used regularly. Take it to a shop, or enlist the help of a bike-aware buddy. – Daniel R Hicks May 10 at 11:32
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That sounds like something wrong with the chain. You may just have a worn chain that is skipping over the rear sprocket. I'd do a check of the whole drive train to rule all potential issues out.

  • Check for play or roughness in the pedal bearings
  • Check for play or roughness in the bottom bracket bearings
  • Check chainring bolts are tight, chainrings don't have any play
  • Check cassette / freewheel / rear sprocket for any play
  • Check sprocket and ring teeth for damage or wear
  • Check rear wheel axle for play or roughness.
  • Check chain for stiff links
  • Check chain for wear and elongation with a chain wear gauge
  • It's fine in 1st and 7th gear though. Wouldn't a loose chain affect those too? – shahzebasif May 10 at 2:53
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    Wear and elongation doesn't make the chain loose . Elongation due to wear is only about 0.5-0.75% Some sprockets may be worn more than others and tend to allow skipping more readily, – Argenti Apparatus May 10 at 3:29
  • On the middlemost sprockets the chain should normally run best. Noise may be due to the FD (front derailleur) being too far inboard on the small front ring or too far outboard on the large ring. You may need to adjust the position of the FD with your shifting lever. Many have in fact 3 or 4 positions for fine trimming. – Carel May 10 at 8:22
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Sounds like your rear derailleur has come out of adjustment, to me. Not sure how removing and reinstalling the rear wheel would cause that, unless you'd misaligned it when reinstalling it, and you say you already checked that. Maybe it's just a coincidence that it happened around the same time.

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